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Lancaster Architectural History

The City of Lancaster has a long history – which is reflected in its rich and varied historic buildings. Scattered throughout the City’s historic neighborhoods are small log houses, farmhouses, rowhouses, market houses, carriage houses, warehouses, and outhouses, as well as stately mansions, factories, churches, schools and commercial buildings. Lancaster's history is a daily living presence within a modern city.

Lancaster is a Colonial town that became a Victorian city. The layout of its streets and the scale of development were established in the early eighteenth century. The Victorian period saw Lancaster transformed into a modern industrialized society. Between 1880 and 1940, the City more than tripled in physical size as industries expanded and the population grew. At the same time, new modes of transportation were influencing residential development patterns, including the creation of outlying "trolley suburbs" which expanded further with the introduction of the automobile at the dawn of the twentieth century.